August 3, 2021

Reuters photographer Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan

Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters news agency photographer, was killed Friday (July 16) in Afghanistan. He was covering fighting between Afghan security forces and the Taliban near a border post with Pakistan, an Afghan commander said.

Afghan special forces were trying to recapture Spin Boldak’s main market when the journalist and a high-ranking Afghan officer were shot dead, in what they described as Taliban crossfire, the commander told Reuters. Since the beginning of the week, Danish Siddiqui was integrated as a journalist with the Afghan special forces stationed in the province of Kandahar, in the south of the country.

Afghan Special Forces members attend to an Afghan National Army soldier injured in clashes with the Taliban in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 12, 2021.

“We are urgently seeking more information, in collaboration with the authorities of the region”Reuters chairman Michael Friedenberg and agency editor Alessandra Galloni said in a statement. “Danish was an exceptional journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much appreciated colleague. Our hearts go out to his family at this terrible time ”, they added.

A militia soldier loads his rifle while visiting Afghan Special Forces during a mission against the Taliban in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 12, 2021.

The journalist had told Reuters that he had been injured in the arm by shrapnel earlier today Friday, while reporting on the clash. He had been treated and was recovering when the Taliban withdrew from the fighting in Spin Boldak. He was chatting with traders as the Taliban attacked again, the Afghan commander said.

An Afghan Special Forces member stands guard as soldiers search a house during a mission against the Taliban in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 12, 2021.
An Afghan Special Forces member speaks to a resident as other soldiers search his home during a mission against the Taliban in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 12, 2021.

Reuters could not independently verify details of the resumption of fighting described by the Afghan military official, who asked not to be identified until after the Afghan defense ministry’s statement.

See Danish Siddiqui’s photo essay: India in Covid-19 hell

Pulitzer Prize in 2018

Danish Siddiqui was part of the Reuters team of photographers that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for reportage photography in the magazine photography category for covering the Rohingya refugee crisis. At Reuters since 2010, Danish Siddiqui notably contributed to the coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, the demonstrations in Hong Kong and the earthquakes in Nepal.

A civilian runs for cover as Afghan Special Forces confront the Taliban to rescue a police officer captured at a border post in Kandahar province on July 13, 2021.
Ahmad Shah, a 28-year-old Afghan policeman, sits in an armored police vehicle after being rescued by Afghan special forces in Kandahar province on July 13, 2021.

Danish Siddiqui’s photographs have featured many times in the pages of World. In 2019, the journalist visited victims of the April 21 attacks in Sri Lanka. More recently, he had covered the plight of India, whose population was devastated by the sudden rebound of the Covid-19 pandemic.

See the photographs of Danish Siddiqui: A sewing machine, an unmade bed, an abandoned scooter… A look back at the victims of the attacks in Sri Lanka

Le Monde with AFP and Reuters